Saturday, 31 October 2015


Sorry this is brief - too much to do and not enough time to do it in.  Below is the gelli plate print from which this began, and then I guess the rest is self explanatory.

It is our retirement from the Parish tomorrow - very emotional, lots of mixed feelings, but overall it is time.  Just trying to stay well enough to get through it.

Sunday, 25 October 2015


I found this rather lovely lady in a book of black and white Victorian illustrations I bought, and I'd meant to do a page about looking back ... or even something to do with the life in retirement I HOPED we'd very soon be having.

So that's where I was mentally headed when I laid down simple paint and the image - I can't seem to manage or even contemplate creating anything very fancy at the moment!  Too much happening what with getting ready to move in two weeks and Himself beginning chemotherapy for bladder cancer tomorrow.
A bit of collage in toning pinky/purple shades helped fill the page up a bit, and I added a black outline with a Posca paint pen and a grey shadow using a marker.  Its amazing how much difference such a simple technique like that makes.
But then I veered away from thinking about what might have beenand decided to get a grip on myself, because this is no time for regretting the life we'd hoped to have, or even the one we're about to leave behind.  The only way I can cope right now is by living in the present ... so I'm stamping hard on my tendency to look ahead and say "yes but what if" ....
"Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof" - can't remember who said that but it works for me right now.  So I'm working on taking life as it comes, one day at a time, and doing my damnedest to trust God for the future.  I'm also trying to be mindful of and give thanks for the love and friendship that surrounds us, and the house is full of the flowers we've been sent!

Someone commented that they were amazed I could journal through this, but actually the truth is that without journalling I'm not sure I would get through it.  This is my time out, space to reflect, a chance to scratch my creative itch, and it helps more than I can possibly say.

Saturday, 17 October 2015


This is the message I need to affirm to myself right now, so what's an art journaller to do but make a page out of it?  Sorry these pictures are a little bit dark - that's what the weather has been like here lately.

I'm not up to making complicated pages right now, but then again who says they have to be?  This is a simple coat of lime green paint over gesso, and then I grabbed my "blue" drawer of collage materials ....  That's how I organise my stuff - I have a set of shallow drawers on wheels and I have labelled them by colour, including neutrals, then words and people.  It works pretty well but is still something of a work in progress.  When I have time or am short of energy or inspiration I grab some magazines etc from the pile on the floor and rip out things I like, cut out shapes and file them in my various drawers.
I suppose there was probably a reason why I chose the lime green, but don't ask me what.  I only know I couldn't manage pink and red at the time.  Anyway blue and green is my favourite colour combination.  Below you can see how I added a grey shadow around the collage elements, and some lettering ...
The last stage was to  complete the lettering and then tackle the very plain background.  I wanted to keep it subtle so as not to detract from the main message, so simple circles with white and grey did the trick.
This is something of a mission statement - I've certainly gone back to look at this page several times this past week.  It does serve to remind me that all things pass, even the worst of times.  Not sure why I chose the bottles at the lower edge, but I assure you I've not turned to drink or anything like that!!

We are moving in 3 weeks and are almost ready for that to happen, and Himself begins chemotherapy in about 10 days.  Even with the help of amazing friends whose offers of help have been nothing less than heroic its not going to be easy, but with God's Grace we can do it - at least on the other side lies retirement and relative calm from which to approach the rest of the treatment.

Sunday, 11 October 2015


If this looks a little bit difficult to see or foggy or whatever, then its deliberate!  I could have used black for the writing but chose to use grey, which doesn't show up as well, and that kind of fits with the theme.

I sort of knew where I was going with this - I knew the page would be about struggling to see and have an eye at the centre.  I found this one on Google Images and really liked it!
I did colour the eye a bit - it started life black and white - and began to add the writing.  I had to add up the letters and spaces in what I wanted to say, to work out where the centre should be.  Didn't work out exactly but close enough.
And then because it was pretty much finished and I hadn't the mental or emotional energy to do much more, the page was completed using dots in grey and white. Its a very calming, meditative process, and you can see just how much difference something so small can make - and anybody can manage dots, even if you don't think you're particularly "artistic".
Both the page and the post are simple because its all I can manage right now.  Himself has to have his bladder removed and a stoma made, and probably chemotherapy as well.  We thought we were braced for this possibility, but it turns out you simply can't be, so it feels like being hit by a truck, or several of them.  Oh yes, and we have to move house in less than a month.  However, we're surrounded by kind friends and family, all willing volunteers to do whatever is needful.  There is also a calm place in the centre where God is, and we know she's in charge of where this goes.

Saturday, 3 October 2015


I'd love to claim to be calm and serene, but those of you who've journeyed with me for some time will know that it just isn't true!  I get passionate, enthusiastic, angry and noisy about all kinds of stuff and I can't seem to be any other way. I DO however work hard at the "think before you speak" thing, but with varying degrees of success .....

This page began just laying down paint in shades of two colours I really like together.  I just use basic craft acrylics because I figure I'm going to throw a lot of other stuff on top, so the only thing I always do is gesso first.  It gives a really great surface on which paint can slide and flow - without it would just soak into the paper.
I was just floating around with no very clear idea of where I was going with this (which is nice and relaxing), so I got out the Posca paint pens and began doodling here and there.  The word "art" at the bottom was cut out from a colour copy of a previous journal page - I do like to re-use things sometimes, though I generally try to change it up a little in the process.
Another Posca marker but the black one this time - its the blackest pen I know, nothing else comes close, and I love how a sinuous black line can link elements together that started out being unconnected.
I found a little Mona Lisa in my stash of collage bits, which led to my adding another one and thinking about her famously serene face, and that's when I began to write on the page.  Very often this is how journalling works for me - its an organic process and one step leads to another, without my necessarily being able to say how I arrived at the end result.
And you know me, I can never normally leave a page alone until I've doodled all over the place - sometimes afterwards I regret not allowing it to remain simple and uncluttered, but its just not how I seem to work.
Very often the pages I do which are very simple and unadorned reflect my saddest mood, when I can't find the necessary energy to doodle and decorate.  At least when I do you'll know that I was really enjoying going for masses of details, and not stuck in an empty place I couldn't escape from.

Himself goes back to the Big Doctor this coming week, when we will find out whether the next step for him is major surgery, or "just" chemotherapy.  Oh yes, and we're trying to get organised to move house in a month's time.  No pressure then - I guess its not surprising I'm not feeling particularly calm or serene!!